CTA not so fast

Coming home from school, I took the brown line and transferred over to the Orange Line. It was an uneventful day to be honest, until of course the orange line train toward Midway stopped on Halsted train station and refused to shut its doors and move. The train conductor got on the intercom and announced that the train had experienced technical difficulties and all passengers had to get off. After making sure that every passenger was off, the conductor got on the train and left, with several people standing on the platform waiting impatiently in the cold for the next train.

Traveling an hour is something that I do every single day. Most of the time though, the train that I travel on stops momentarily and continues to travel at its average speed of 55 mph, according to a topic on ChicagoBus.org. But as I stood in the platform waiting for the next train I just couldn’t help but think what it would be like to get home in less than an hour.

China, since 2007, has implemented the new electromagnetic (maglev) trains. And when looking at the perks of the maglev trains, it seems it is exactly what Chicago needs!

The maglev train carts hover about 0.4 to about 4 inches above the ground. No friction!

Because the maglev trains are not in contact with the ground, there is no fossil fuel used thus much more power efficient and eco friendly than any others.

And because the only noise coming from the maglev trains is displaced air, the trains are less noisy than that of commuter trains.

This is all due to a combination of magnetic attraction and magnetic repulsion.

Despite this unusual train’s design, I wondered, why on Earth, does Chicago not have this? The maglev trains travel twice as much as the fastest Amtrak’s commuter train. It goes up to around 310 mph! I would never have to complain about transportation ever again if Chicago had the maglev trains.

But of course, this is not something that the Chicago Transit Authority is interested in doing. Or at least not now. But they should at least consider the fact that Chicago transportation needs a “face lift”. Chicago, one of the first places to introduce commuter trains for passengers, has now lacked the ability to upgrade its technology to what the world is already used too seeing.

And while this change, this technology, is at the back of every commuter’s head, I will find things to do in the hour long ride from my school to my house.


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